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A closer look at Chilobrachys fimbriatus - OW fossorial

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Storm76, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    In the past, I've now and then made a thread about a certain species with some basic information on them, behavior, how I keep and the like. Today, it'll be about an old-world burrowing species: Chilobrachys fimbriatus

    General Information:
    First described by Pocock 1899 the phenotype was reportedly from the area around Khamala. They can be found in burrows dug into the road embankments in their natural habitat. You can find a climate diagram HERE - this one is using celsius, not fahrenheit!.
    The species is quite colorful, showing off beautiful markings on the abdomen and sporting violet / blueish femurs as adult. Spiderlings are plain brown, but from around ~2.5" onward start to develop the colorful femurs and rest of their markings quickly. Depending on the angle of light, the do look a little blueish on the legs and reddish on the abdomen already as tiny spreckles. Mature males reach around ~5" legspan and have no tibial spurs (hooks) on the legs (bulbous pedipalps still dead giveaway) and their femur coloration is more black than violet once mature, whereas females supposedly can get even up to 7" (personally never seen a specimen that big and hence doubting it) with most being in the 6" range. Pretty fast growers, too!

    How to keep:
    These prefer damp (not swampy!) substrate being an asian burrower. However, letting it dry it out completely (as it does happen in their natural habitat) for a few weeks won't harm them. An always filled waterdish should be provided as they will make use of it just like any other tarantula. 6"+ of substrate is the least they should be provided with, I think. Personally, I'm using simple cocofiber currently, but i did use eco-earth before that and both choice were accepted by both of my specimens. As burrowers providing them with a starter burrow helps, but some are quite opportunistic and will just construct huge (very sticky!) webcastles instead (or in addition!). Overall, these seemingly web as much (I dare say more even...) than your typical GBB, which I think is making them very unique. Temperature-wise they do well around 22-28°C wheras during summer my room gets up to 30°C with no negative observations.

    Temperament / Toxicity:

    Keep in mind, these are old-world. No urticating hairs, but their bite packs a punch! Venom strength reportedly ranges around Poecilotheria with symptoms including high fever, vomitting, muscle cramps, intense pain, swelling, profuse sweating and the like able to last for weeks just like their arboreal cousins venom. Certainly not a species to mess with either, as these are incredibly fast and quick to react. An article in the ARACHNE stated that these have the ability to turn 180° without giving any indication prior to on the slightest feel of movement - so keep hands well out of reach as I can attest to that 1st hand! From own observations having raised my couple from spiderlings to adults, I'd say they are mellowing out some as adults, but nowhere near the point where you could trust them to work withou tools in their cages. Defensive responses consist of three options I've witnessed: 1) Frantically run around the cage, with high chances of escape seemingly panicking, 2) vanishing into their burrow, or 3) immediate confrontation with threatposing and bites. For the most part, if disturbed while outside their burrow, mine will just hide immediately and won't show up until the disturbance is gone again. Exception being they shoot right back out if something touches the mound of their burrow!
    Great -voracious- eaters, molts are getting stored inside their burrow usually and thrown out at their leisure if at all. Given their venom strenght and incredible speed, they should be treated like any other high-strung OW tarantula with lots of respect, but no fear. Personally I've never regretted getting these are my entry into the OWs, as they are really easy to care for once in their final enclosure. That being said, rehousing them can be challenge if you're worried - catchup, tongs are mandatory! I've had a couple rehousings that were difficult, both with the male. The most the female did was threaten a number of times, slap with fangs bared and stridulate - but she was pretty cooperative overall going where I wanted her to. The male constantly turned to face the tool used to prod him into the catchcup and tried multiple times to climb the tongs, at which point I abandoned that and used a soft straw instead to prod him with. All in kept in mind, once in the final enclosure, they're usually out at night checking their digs, webbing like crazy or at the least sitting at the mound of their burrow. My own, biased, opinion: Awesome species!

    Bottom line:
    Not a species I'd ever suggest to the hands of someone just entering the hobby, except if I'd know and trust the person. Although I myself am somewhat wary of Haploplema spp. I decided to get these because of looks and experience I had gathered back when I got them. They are easy enough to care for if one follows strict policies of not messing unnessarily with them, having catchcup always in range and not reaching into their cages with bare hands. Rehousing can be challenging, but works just the same way as with any other high-strung species. In my opinion a great, pretty fast growing OW with awesome looks and a GBB-like webbing skill on top of that. Anyone with experience with fast moving, agile arboreals or other OW species will find these a great addition to their collection.

    Pictures:

    Spiderling ~0.5"
    [​IMG]

    Juvenile, ~3"
    [​IMG]

    My mature male, "Ares", ~5"
    [​IMG]

    My mature female, "Hera", ~6"
    [​IMG]

    Gravid female "Hera", ~6"
    [​IMG]

    EWLs (sac went bad sadly)
    [​IMG]


    Perhaps this short rundown of them will help a few people decide if, or if not, to add them to their collection. If you have anything to add, feel free to do so and in case you find errors correcting them is appreciated, too :D

    Best
    ~Jan
     
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  2. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Great thread, Storm.

    As you know (we discussed that issue prior, in one of your YT videos) i'm with you about their venom potency. That's not the average OW venom. The venom is somewhat strong like genus Poecilotheria, i remember i've heard about a guy from Poland, bitten by one of those, ending up with cramps and high fever for three days, at the E.R he looked like one under heavy drugs.

    Thing is, there aren't so much of bite reports available for those, unlike Pterinochilus murinus (even if i know OBT are more cheaper, and common). They deliver multiple bites within seconds as well.

    My MM died of old age last spring, and at the moment, i haven't Asians (only Africans) but for next year i already "have" on my hands a couple of Lyrognathus giannisposatoi.

    Anyway, i rescued him (and i received him for free with enclosure and all). He was supposed to be a Lady named "Cleopatra" but turned out to be a "Cleopatro" lol, when i re-housed him -- and dodged a good two bites attempt, but i was expecting those -- because he was housed in a "Pokie" style enclosure, he was burrowing in only 3 inches or less of substrate.

    First thing i noticed when i put him out was those huge "boxing gloves" on his pedipals, they lack tibial hooks -- yeah, i know was for free but still, female my ... :mad: --

    However they are great T's to keep, as for the temperament they are a bit on the "bite in your face" sometimes but not, IMO, like Pterinochilus "Mr. Torrance" murinus are.
     
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  3. leaveittoweaver

    leaveittoweaver Arachnoknight

    Great post!

    This species is stunning, I wish I was ready to have one! Love the look and how they web everything!
     
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  4. Splendid care sheet (you just proved there are good ones!), thanks a lot for the work, for your passion and for sharing!

    I've got the experience you are speaking of: when grown ups are kept without deep substrate, they are very opportunistic and web a beautiful self-made burrow, decorating the enclosure with skill. I know it's not like that in their natural habitat, but I like to keep them that way and they seem to adapt quite well.


    Envoyé de mon iPhone à l'aide de Tapatalk
     
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  5. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    In comparison to the Haplopelma genus, this isn't true. There may be incidents like this, but I think it was Volker v. Wirth who said they are quick to deliver a bite, immediately after letting go and resuming a threat posture. Not saying it can't happen, but even if bit this seems the exception.

    Thanks, it's an awesome species that I honestly love ever since I raised my couple!

    Just trying to provide some general guidance, there's plenty of bad out there already, I aim to be correct. As for the opportunistic part, it's true they -can- be kept on less substrate and most will likely construct a webcastle if provided with things to anchor webbing onto, but personally I like to keep mine relatively natural hence why I provide them with plenty of sub. As you can see, even so they still web the heck out of the enclosures.
     
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  6. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    Also, this serves as an example to show just how easy this species gets annoyed...the background-story here is very simple: Little "Hera", at that point just ~2.75", had molted and just thrown her old exoskeleton out of her burrow. When I saw that, I opened the enclosure and picked it out with my tongs. That short movement annoyed her so much, that she immediately went into threat-posturing!
    Freshly-molted? Doesn't matter - she doesn't take prisoners! For the record: I simply took a few pics, close the lid and left her alone as I was worried she'd hurt herself. Nowadays she's way more cooperative luckily, with her ~6" currently she certainly has the size to back up the attitude with now :p

    "Hera", ~2.75" female, picture taken right after picking out the old exo with tongs...she was...upset :p
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Man i saw them, i swear :) After the re-house that MM was in the new enclosure, i removed gently that plastic container he was inside (i use a plastic container that suits all T's, from littles like OBT's to genus Theraphosa ones), moved away tongs, and the lovely bugger delivered two bites in a row within seconds after, a la "Fist of the north star" Nanto/Hokuto school moves. I was prepared for that, that's why i wasn't bitten.

    Still they aren't crazy like OBT's i have to admit but re-house those are "fun". My female OBT loves to stand even if i stare at the cage cracking my fingers, ah ah... happy she's in her final enclosure now.

    I need to buy new Asian T's, definitely.
     
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  8. I love this post so much :love:
     
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  9. AphonopelmaTX

    AphonopelmaTX Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    Explain? :D

    Very nice. Thank you for posting that video! :)
     
  11. I have a small 1"-2" female that I can't wait to watch grow up. I love seeing pics of yours and enjoy reading through all of the info you provided, it's a great thread! :D
     
  12. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    And here I thought yours was already around ~4"+. Whoops :)
     
  13. Same here - mine's about 1.75" in size.
    But wow at you knowing yours is female. I have NO exos -- not sure if he/she destroyed them or what (even when rehousing from sling cup to juvie enclosure -- never found one) but he/she has tripled in size since I received it. From time to time mine would just show up 'bigger' than when last seen.
    I have also never witnessed mine on enclosure wall for a ventral peek.
     
  14. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    One more addition to this thread:


    Chilobrachys fimbriatus - spermathecae = female (from my own female when I sexed her)
    [​IMG]
     
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